FLUORIDE will be flowing through the water pipes in Warrnambool, Allansford and Koroit within six months.

A $400,000 contract for the design and installation of specialised fluoridation equipment was announced yesterday.

NSW-based company Dioxide Pacific Pty Ltd won the tender to build equipment for the controversial addition to the Warrnambool water treatment plant at Albert Park.

It follows last year’s decision by the Department of Human Services to add the three centres to the list of fluoridated areas as part of a policy to improve dental health.

The contract announcement has sharpened the resolve of opponents to launch a High Court challenge.

And it is likely to trigger another public protest rally, this time outside the water treatment plant.

Fluoride Action Group spokesman Vern Robson said some people had indicated they would hold a `peaceful’ protest rally.

“I’m sure some people will want to exercise their democratic right to protest over the installation,” he said.

“They will want to tell the Government of their displeasure in not being able to vote on this issue.

“If the High Court finds Victoria’s fluoridation legislation is illegal, not only will Warrnambool’s equipment have to be removed, but also in other areas including Melbourne.”

Wannon Water managing director Grant Green said the project was scheduled for completion by mid-year.

“Wannon Water will inform the community of the actual date of commissioning of the fluoridation plant following its construction,” he said.

The Department of Human Services will pay the contract cost.

Mr Robson said his group was seeking expert legal advice on its plan to mount a challenge to fluoridation on the grounds of common law and human rights.

“It seems there is no intent by this State Government to repeal its law so we are being forced to mount a High Court challenge on behalf of all Australians,” he said.